WEST LONG BRANCH — Seven athletes represented the two Brick Township high schools in the 2017 All-Shore Gridiron Classic on June 29 at Shore Regional High School.
The 40th annual Monmouth vs. Ocean County game ended in a 17-8 loss for The Ocean Star athletes, including: Brick Memorial’s Joe Manso and Brick Township’s: John Prato, Anthony Costanza, Dean Helstowski, Ra’Shon McCall, Jack Finelli and Liam Poland.
Despite the loss, all six athletes were honored to be a part of the game and represent their high schools for the final time.
“It feels great,” said Costanza on representing the Dragons. “I love the Township of Brick and I love the traditions it has. It’s just an honor to play for them and to represent them in this game.”
Manso, the lone Brick Memorial Mustang had a similar view: “I mean it’s a great opportunity. One last time to represent my school and meet a bunch of great, new guys and playing a great game.”
Costanza earned the starting quarterback position for the Ocean County team, along with Poland at tackle and defensive starts from Prato, Finelli and Helstowski.
“Getting to wear the green and white helmet one more time is quite the honor and representing Brick in this All-Shore game is another really big postseason honor,” explained Prato.
Although the Ocean County team lost their winning streak of the three consecutive Gridiron Classics, Costanza and the Ocean County team avoided the 17-0 shutout with 4:12 left in the fourth quarter.
“It felt good to get us on the board,” said Costanza. “I mean it’s a lot of pressure not having any points. It just looked good to get us up on the board and it showed we fought and never gave up out there.”
For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.